Meanwhile, two men who own the store and faced the gunman are hoping local residents will help find the suspect.
According to officers, Vishal Patel and his father-in-law, Yogesh Patel, were working at Blue Box Beverage, 33 E. Main St., at about 9 p.m. Tuesday when a black male wearing dark clothing and a black mask entered the store.
The suspect came around the back of the counter where Vishal Patel was and demanded money from the register.
Yogesh Patel came up behind the suspect and struck him on the right arm with a golf club, leading to the suspect fleeing and firing three shots on his way out of the store. The shots missed both men and a customer.
Vishal Patel grabbed a gun from underneath the counter and followed him outside, shooting at the suspect twice before losing sight of him as he ran up Glover Street.
The suspect did get away with an undisclosed amount of money, but investigators were not sure exactly how much was missing as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We currently have no further information or leads that we wish to release at this time,” Rome detective Michelle Sims said.
Vishal Patel is glad no one was hurt and was conducting business as usual on Wednesday.
“I’ve talked with some of the people who live around here and asked them to keep a lookout,” he said. “Some people have come in and made sure we’re OK. They’re disturbed by it, and they don’t want anything like that around here either.”
Vishal Patel said he originally went for the gun under the counter when the suspect ordered him to open the register, but the man told him to stop or he would shoot.
With the suspect focused on taking the money in the register and asking where there was more money, Yogesh Patel came out from the coolers in the back of the store, got behind the counter unnoticed and came up behind the suspect with a golf club.
Yogesh Patel then swung downward just as the suspect noticed him and put up his right arm to defend himself. The club hit the suspect’s forearm and bent the shaft.
As the man attempted to get away, Vishal tried to grab him, causing the suspect to trip while going through a small gap in the counter.
He then shot once back behind the counter and two more times toward the wall opposite from the counter before heading out the door.